nb-si-bordershopping

With the strong Canadian dollar, more New Brunswickers are heading over the border to shop. ((CBC))

The Canadian dollar surged to a three and a half year high Friday morning at about almost 105 cents U.S.

Once again, more Canadians are crossing the border from western New Brunswick to go shopping in the U.S.

Getting down to the States is easy from western New Brunswick.

It's just a few minutes away by car.

So, cross-border shopping has returned to towns like Calais, Maine - home to many bargain and outlet stores.

"Always poultry of any kind. Dairy products, and milk and yogurt - that type of thing, because we have a lot better variety apparently over here. And you can almost take a look at an order and tell that it's a Canadian customer," said Pat Stawars, a customer service manager at a local supermarket.

Patricia Bernier often shops across the border for items that are pricier or unavailable at home.

"Well there's a price difference for many items. So even without the strong Canadian dollar, milk products - everybody knows - are cheaper."

Carolyn Jackson likes the variety and the prices.

"Always come over and fill the tank full of gas. That is what I think is the biggest call right now, is the gas."

Craig Alexander, the chief economist for the Toronto-Dominion Bank, said the high dollar is a mixed blessing.

"The strength of the Canadian dollar is a real challenge for New Brunswick exporters selling into the U.S. marketplace," said Alexander. "But it is good for New Brunswick consumers to snap up deals in the United States. It also may bring down prices in Canada of imported products that are being sold in the province."